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May 16, 2018

Majority of Cabinet Stands in Support of Judicial Resolution

The prime minister is on record stating that it is his personal view that the ICJ is the best option for the resolution of the claim.  Barrow also says that a majority of those in his Cabinet are in agreement with that position and will be taking that message to the electorate in the months ahead.  That aside, government’s opinion is separate and apart from the message that the Referendum Unit of the Foreign Ministry will be imparting during the education campaign.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The value of being able to say to the Guatemalans, what we’ve already said to them, what we’ve already said to the world, but to be able to say it now with the imprimatur of the decision of the ICJ, that these are the borders of Belize as set out in the 1859 Treaty.  Half of the Sarstoon is ours.  That kind of absolute certainty with respect to the legal footing vis-à-vis Guatemala, on which we would thereafter be operating, I think, is absolutely priceless.  So I say again, and will continue to maintain that in my personal opinion, going to the ICJ is the best way of resolving the diplomatic and legal difficulties with Guatemala.  And I go further to say that in my view it is the only way of resolving those difficulties.  Now in terms of the administration that I continue to lead, the official position of the Cabinet is that a yes vote ought to be recommended to the people of Belize.  That is without prejudice to individual members of Cabinet, reserving their right to disagree to go their own way in terms of how they would vote in the referendum.  I also have to be very clear that the position of Cabinet, the position of the government, is not a position that the education campaign to be conducted by the Referendum Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Our position is not a position that the Referendum Unit by way of the education campaign will actually as it were plump for.”

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